Tag Archives: Wagashi

Japanese Cakes/Wagashi for Vegans/Vegetarians 2: Recipe-Anko/Sweetmeats

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One main ingredients in traditional Wagashi/Japanese Cakes is “anko/餡子” (or more simply “an”) which can be translated as “sweetmeats” or “bean jam”.

Actually few people know that it was first conceived and made in a temple in Okitsu, Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City!

I would like here to introduce a simple way to make one’s own “anko” at home:

INGREDIENTS:

Azuki/Adzuki/red beans (in Japanese: 小豆): 150 g
Sugar: 150g
Salt: a little

RECIPE:

a) Wash azuki lightly. Put in a large basin with an equal amount of water and turn on heat to high.

b) Bring to boil. If beans level is higher that of water, add water till beans are completely covered. Let simmer. Add water 2 or 3 times as soon as the water does not cover completely the beans and this until beans stop floating on water.

c) Drain beans, put them back into basin with same amount of water and turn fire to high. Repeat a) operation.

d) Cook as c) for 40~60 minutes.

e) Mash azuki beans lightly. Add sugar. Simmer and stir to mix, making sure the jam does not overboil.

f) Add a little salt (to your taste) and mix.
Let cool completely.
You can eat it as it is of course, but you will need it to make your cakes!
You can either sieve it to make it a very fine paste, sieve a part and mix it with the unsieved part, or use it as it is. In any case it will be easy to fashion!

WAGASHI-ANKO

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pie
rre.Cuisine
, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Japanese Cakes/Wagashi for Vegans/Vegetarians 1: Introduction

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There is a traditional way of making cakes in Japan that ought to please no end vegans, vegetarians and people allergic to wheat flour and dairy products, namely Wagashi!

Wagashi (和菓子) is a traditional Japanese confectionery which is often served with tea, especially the types made of mochi, azuki bean paste, and fruits.

Wagashi is typically made from naturally based (mainly plant) ingredients. The names used for wagashi commonly fit a formula—a natural beauty and a word from ancient literature; they are thus often written with hyōgaiji (kanji that are not commonly used or known), and are glossed with furigana (phonetic writing).

Generally, confectioneries that were introduced from the West after the Meiji Restoration (1868) are not considered wagashi. Most sorts of Okinawan confectionery and those originating in Europe or China that use ingredients alien to traditional Japanese cuisine, e.g., kasutera, are only rarely referred to as wagashi.

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Assortment of wagashi for a tea ceremony

During the Edo period, the production of sugarcane in Okinawa became highly productive, and low quality brown sugar as well as heavily processed white sugar became widely available. A type of sugar, wasanbon, was perfected in this period and is still used exclusively to make wagashi. Wagashi was a popular gift between samurai, in significance much like a good wine. Wagashi is served as part of a Japanese tea ceremony, and serving a good seasonal wagashi shows one’s educational background.

WAGASHI-3
Wagashi in the shape of rape flowers/Na no Hana

There are many, many kinds of Wagashi!
I will introduce them in the next postings, followed by other postings on the basic preparation.

WAGASHI-ABEKAWAMOCHI-2
Shizuoka’s Abekawa Mochi

Just know that about every region in Japan has its own traditional Wagashi!

Availability:
Wagashi is widely available in Japan, but quite rare outside it.
Minamoto Kitchoan (源 吉兆庵)
Has a varied selection, and stores in New York City (shipping throughout the US), London (shipping throughout Europe), and Singapore, in addition to Japan.
Toraya (とらや)
Has a full Paris store, stores in Japan, and sells a limited selection (yōkan only) at New York stores.
Fugetsu-do
Family owned and operated in the USA, since 1903, Fugetsu-do now ships anywhere in the USA.

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pie
rre.Cuisine
, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Japanese Cakes/Wagashi 1: Introduction

WAGASHI-1

There is a traditional way of making cakes in Japan that ought to please no end vegans and people allergic to wheat flour and dairy products, namely Wagashi!

Wagashi (和菓子) is a traditional Japanese confectionery which is often served with tea, especially the types made of mochi, azuki bean paste, and fruits.

Wagashi is typically made from natural based (mainly plant) ingredients. The names used for wagashi commonly fit a formula—a natural beauty and a word from ancient literature; they are thus often written with hyōgaiji (kanji that are not commonly used or known), and are glossed with furigana.

Generally, confectioneries that were introduced from the West after the Meiji Restoration (1868) are not considered wagashi. Most sorts of Okinawan confectionery and those originating in Europe or China that use ingredients alien to traditional Japanese cuisine, e.g., kasutera, are only rarely referred to as wagashi.

WAGASHI-2
Assortment of wagashi for a tea ceremony

During the Edo period, the production of sugarcane in Okinawa became highly productive, and low quality brown sugar as well as heavily processed white sugar became widely available. A type of sugar, wasanbon, was perfected in this period and is still used exclusively to make wagashi. Wagashi was a popular gift between samurai, in significance much like a good wine. Wagashi is served as part of a Japanese tea ceremony, and serving a good seasonal wagashi shows one’s educational background.

WAGASHI-3
Wagashi in the shape of rape flowers/Na no Hana

There are many, many kinds of Wagashi.
I will introduce them in the next posting, followed by another posting on the basic preparation.

WAGASHI-ABEKAWAMOCHI-2
Shizuoka’s Abekawa Mochi

Just know that about every region in Japan has its own traditional Wagashi!

Avaibility:
Wagashi is widely available in Japan, but quite rare outside it.
Minamoto Kitchoan (源 吉兆庵)
Has a varied selection, and stores in New York City (shipping throughout the US), London (shipping throughout Europe), and Singapore, in addition to Japan.
Toraya (とらや)
Has a full Paris store, stores in Japan, and sells a limited selection (yōkan only) at New York stores.
Fugetsu-do
Family owned and operated in the USA, since 1903, Fugetsu-do now ships anywhere in the USA.

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pie
rre.Cuisine
, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

Vegan Japanese Cakes: Wagashi at Friand Kadoya in Shizuoka City!

Wagashi/和菓子, or “Japanese Cakes” are a boon for people who don’t eat eggs or dairy products.
No wonder they are witnessing a boom all over the world!
And true tradtional wagashi are not only healthy and tasty but also so artistic!

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now, in Shizuoka City there a splendid and very traditional cake shop called Friand Kadoya which makes both European-style and wagashi cakes!
It is a famous establishment place and their wagashi can be enjoyed at Issa Kissa in Shizuoka JR Station!
Actually the shop stand less than 10 minutes on foot from the Shizuoka JR Station South Exit!

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“Friand/ふりあん” can be loosely translated as “gourmet’s pleasure”, although the French will useful it in the expression, “Je suis friand de…/I love…”. The word “friandise/sweets” is the noun for the adjective “friand”!

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Mr. Eiji Asaba/浅場栄一さん is the 3rd geneartion owner/chef at Friand Kadoya.
After graduating from High School he spent 2 years learning his craft in a wagashi cake school in Tokyo for 2 years and worked for 2 and a half more years in Tokyo before working under his father’s supervision for 13 years. he has been the owner and chef for the last 7 years following the father’s departure from this world.

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The wagashi cakes are separately displayed.
They are exclusively made with komeko/rice flour grown and produced in Japan. Sometimes he does have to use a little wheat flour.
All coloring used in his cakes are either of natural vegetable and fruit origins or coloring only registered and allowed by the Japanese Government.

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March being a very busy season I had to content myself with a short chat with Mr. Asaba, a very affable man, and taking enough photographs to give you an indication of the true delicacies and works of art in wait for you!

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All wagashi can be bought separately, in pairs or in packages of varying volume!

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Traditional Sakura Mochi!

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O-mochi wrapped in red shiso/perilla leaves!

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Kimi Shigure!

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Yuri no Ne!

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Macha o-mochi filled wit sweetmeats!
A Very Shizuoka wagashi!

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Haru Urara!

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Haru no Yosooi!

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Ryuryoku Kakou!

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Haru no Ogawa!

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Sanshyoku Sumire!

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Kochyou!

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Hanami Zakura!

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Hatsu Zakura!

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Miyoshino!

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Na no Hana!
I’ve already had the pleasure to taste that one!

First of all expect all these cakes to be tasted and introduced in future postings! As they are seasonal, this promises to be long series!

And as soon as Mr. Asaba is not so busy I will interview him at work!

FRIAND KADOYA Western and Wagashi Cakes

Chef: Eiji Asaba/浅場栄一さん
422-8062 Shizuoka City, Suruga Ku, Inagawa, 1-2-29
Tel.: 054-285-6860
Fax: 054-284-7037
Opening hours: 09:00~19:00
Closed on Mondays and some holidays in January and August

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

Vegan Christmas Cakes & New Year Confectionery: Japanese Wagashi!

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Pyramid-style Christmas Tree?

Here are some more suggestions for Christmas Cakes through re-published articles!
Have fun!

NOTE: I’m an unrepentant agnostic hedonist (and an omnivore to boot!), but since some of my vegan and vegetarain friends are Christian, I hope these pictures will inspire them!

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Flowery Christmas!

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What’s in Santa’s bag?

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Bring your forks and knives!

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Holy (Holly) Christmas!

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For the toddlers!

christmas-wagashi-7

Pity you have to eat it!

christmas-wagashi-8

Definitely Japanese-style!

christmas-wagashi-9

They almost look like sushi!

christmas-wagashi-10

Elegant simplicity!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

Japanese Vegan Gastronomy: Veggie Burger at Rama 4.5 Organic Cafe & Shop in Shizuoka City!

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Service: Friendly, smiling and helpful
Facilities: Overall very clean. Washroom a bit small but clean.
Prices: Reasonable
Strong points: Exclusively vegan cuisine. A great scope of vegan ingredients on sale. Entirely non-smoking!

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I paid my second visit today to Rama 4.5 Organic Cafe & Shop in Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, where I was looking forward to a different vegan (I’m not, sorry!) lunch!

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I also noticed that a young couple of local potters living in Mori Machi, Kakegawa City, were exhibiting and selling some exquisite pottery!

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I understand that interviewing will quite a challenge as they usually do allow it, but I’m confident I will succeed. Their art is just too good to ignore!

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There was a choice but since Mrs. Miho Maki/牧美穂さん recommended her veggie burger, I didn’t hesitate!

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Her vegan soy milk based soup would please anyone with a health-conscious and epicurian mind! I particularly love the ginger included in it and the herbs sprinkled on top!

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Exquisite and so aromatic herb tea!

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The veggie burger!

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Home-baked vegan bread!

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Two deep-fried veggie/vegan patties in between with plenty of fresh local vegetables!

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Organic herbs providing extra seasoning!

Not only very healthy, but more fulfilling than expected! Who would complain? Certainly not me, in spite of being an omnivore!

Rama 4.5 Organic Cafe & Shop
420-0031 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Gofuku Cho, 2-4-5
Tel.: 054-266-3845
Business hours: 10:00~19:00
Closed on Wednesday
Entirely non-smoking

Will soon interview their other home-restaurant at:

Rama
422-8052 Shizuoka City, Suruga Ku, Midorigaoka, 19-6
Tel.: 054-260-5186
Business hours: 11:00~23:00
Closed on Wednesday
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Shop with Intent by Debbie
BULA KANA in Fiji
Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

Vegan Restaurant & Shop in Shizuoka City: Rama 4.5 Organic Cafe & Shop!

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Service: Friendly, smiling and helpful
Facilities: Overall very clean. Washroom a bit small but clean.
Prices: Reasonable
Strong points: Exclusively vegan cuisine. A great scope of vegan ingredients on sale. Entirely non-smoking!

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The (small) Rama Group which has been serving for some time vegan food inside the home of some of their members in the south of Shizuoka City at last on August 6th opened a real Cafe & Shop in Gennan Street, Gofuku-Cho, Aoi Ku, in the middle of the city for the pleasure of all vegans and health food lovers!

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I’m no vegan myself, but I do appreciate it from time to time, and I’m really happy for my friends and visitors to Shizuoka City who have such priorities!

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The shop itself offers an enormous (by Japanese standards!) array of vegan, organic and macrobiotic foods including home-made jams….

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and pickles made with fruit and vegetables locally and organically grown.

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It is all set in a beautiful and very natural environment, the more for it as it is open as a Cafe all day long!

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The general design makes use of a lot of wood.
You can either sit a t tables, or in my case at the counter overlooking the street outside!

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The young owners at work1
Mr. Tomonari Maki/牧知成さん and Mrs. Miho Maki/牧美穂さん!

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As for the food served the lunch is unique but changes regularly depending on the seasonal ingredients.
They serve all kinds of drinks, including organic beer!
If you don’t speak Japanese speak slowly in English and I’m sure mutual understanding will be easy!

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The lunch of the day!
Very appetizing, indeed!
As far as I know this is the sole truly vegan restaurant in town, and probably in the whole prefecture

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The hot soup!
No dairy products is used whatsoever!

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It is not only healthy but has a beautiful cachet attached to it!

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Whatever the angle it is definitely tempting!

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Home-made vegan bread!

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Home-made jam/chutney!

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Plenty of natural spices!

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I’m glad to admit that the deep-fried vegetables patty was delicious!

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The kinako/roasted soy bean powder jelly dessert and herb tea!

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Not only a very healthy dessert but also a traditional Japnese one!

Rama 4.5 Organic Cafe & Shop
420-0031 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Gofuku Cho, 2-4-5
Tel.: 054-266-3845
Business hours: 10:00~19:00
Closed on Wednesday
Entirely non-smoking

Will soon interview their other home-restaurant at:

Rama
422-8052 Shizuoka City, Suruga Ku, Midorigaoka, 19-6
Tel.: 054-260-5186
Business hours: 11:00~23:00
Closed on Wednesday
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Shop with Intent by Debbie
BULA KANA in Fiji
Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
The Wine Wankers by Stuart in Australia!
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

Japanese Vegan Dessert: Chetsnuts Wagashi-Kurikinton-和菓子の栗きんとん

KURIKINTON-1

The chestnut picking season is just around the corner in Shizuoka Prefecture and more particularly in Makinohara where it is officially announced as starting on the 14th!
Chestnuts have been since ancient times a great source of food not only for its nuts but also as a basic ingredient for cakes and even bread (far healthier than wheat flour bread incidentally!)!

Here is recipe for a typical wagashi cake called kuri kinton that should please any priorities!

INGREDIENTS:

Chestnuts: 500g
Maple syrup: 100cc~
Water: 50cc~
Natural salt: a pinch

RECIPE:

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Wash the chestnuts well before making a thin indent with a knife steaming them for about 50 minutes.

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Spoon out the chestnuts into a bowl taking care not to scoop any skin with it.

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Pour all the chestnuts inside a food processor and process until all the chestnuts are well broken. Add salt. Adding water and syrup a little at a time process until all ingredients are used.

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Sieve into a pan.
Cook over a little fire for a while to lower the humidity.

KURIKINTON-6

Spread thinly over a clean cloth to take out excess humidity.

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Roll small balls (size of your liking!) and wrap them into cellophane paper. Twist paper hard to create shape.

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Unwrap and top with some syrup and a nicely cut piece of steamed chestnut!

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By adding some soy milk and more maple syrup you can create a beautiful marron paste!

So easy and healthy!
Enjoy!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

BULA KANA in Fiji
Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

Christmas Cake: Vegetarian & Vegan Japanese Wagashi/和菓子-Christmas Cakes Pictures

Exif_JPEG_PICTURE

Pyramid-style Christmas Tree?

Here are some more suggestions for Christmas Cakes through re-published articles!
Have fun!

NOTE: I’m an unrepentant agnostic hedonist (and an omnivore to boot!), but since some of my vegan and vegetarain friends are Christian, I hope these pictures will inspire them!

christmas-wagashi-2

Flowery Christmas!

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What’s in Santa’s bag?

christmas-wagashi-4

Bring your forks and knives!

christmas-wagashi-5

Holy (Holly) Christmas!

christmas-wagashi-6

For the toddlers!

christmas-wagashi-7

Pity you have to eat it!

christmas-wagashi-8

Definitely Japanese-style!

christmas-wagashi-9

They almost look like sushi!

christmas-wagashi-10

Elegant simplicity!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in kanzai by Nevitt Reagan!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

Japanese Vegetarian & Vegan Cakes: Wagashi/和菓子 18: Sweet Potato Wagashi Recipe

Sweet potatoes or Satsuma Imo/薩摩芋 in Japanese are a popular vegetable throughout the world as it can be accomodated both as a vegetable dish or a dessert!
The Japanese make a great use of it in Wagashi/和菓子/Japanese cakes, especially in home-cooking!
Here is a very simple and easy to adapt recipe that will please vegans, vegetarians and omnivores alike, kids and adults!
The style is ohagi/おはぎ!

SATSUMA IMO OHAGI/薩摩芋おはぎ RECIPE

-INGREDIENTS (for 6 balls)
Sweet potato (steamed): 70g
Marmelade or yuzu (Japanese Lime) jam: 1 tablespoon
White miso paste (shiro miso): 2.5g (small teaspoon)
Sweetmeats/Anko/餡子: 120=150g
Ground sesame seeds: as you like

-RECIPE

Steam the sweet potato or soften it ina microwave oev. Mix it well with the white miso and the jam.

Form 6 balls of equal size.

Divide the sweetmeats into 6 equal portions.
Spread one portion over a piece of cellophane paper into a circle large enough to wrap around the whole sweet potato ball.

Place a sweet potato ball in the center of the sweetmeat circle.

This is the only “difficult” part you will master easily enough: bring the cellophane paper sides up and twist them together so as to form a ball by bringing the sweetmeat around the sweet potato ball.

If you think that the ball is too warm to unwrap easily after all this work, leave it in the fridge until before serving (not in the freezer!).
Unwrap the balls over a serving plate and sprinkle them with ground sesame seeds.
Naturally it is open to your imagination!

Have the kids make them!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Japanese Vegetarian & Vegan Cakes: Wagashi/和菓子 17: Wagashi Christmas Cakes Pictures

Pyramid-style Christmas Tree?

I’m an unrepentant agnostic hedonist (and an omnivore to boot!), but since some of my vegan and vegetarain friends are Christian, I hope these pictures will inspire them!

Flowery Christmas!

What’s in Santa’s bag?

Bring your forks and knives!

Holy (Holly) Christmas!

For the toddlers!

Pity you have to eat it!

Definitely Japanese-style!

They almost look like sushi!

Elegant simplicity!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Japanese Vegetarian & Vegan Cakes: Wagashi/和菓子 16: Yatsuhashi/-Tabe

Yatsuhashi (八ツ橋 or 八橋) is a Japanese confectionery sold mainly as a souvenir sweet (miyagegashi/土産菓子). It is one of the best known meibutsu/名物 (famous regional products) of Kyoto.
It is also widely known under the name of O-Tabe/お食べ (“please eat”).

It is made from rice flour (上新粉, jōshinko), sugar and cinnamon. Baked, it is similar to senbei, making it suitable for both vegans and flour allergics!

Baked Yatsuhashi

Raw Yatsuhashi

Raw, unbaked yatsuhashi (Nama yatsuhashi/生八橋) has a soft, mochi-like texture and is often eaten wrapped around red bean paste (餡, an), and may come in a variety of different flavours.

Black Yatsuhashi

Most notable to the Kyoto area is the black version of this. The addition of black bean powder and black sesame seed powder to the wrapper and the an give a distinctive black color.

Different flavoured Yatsuhashi

Not so long ago, there were only a few flavours available.
Now, all kinds of flavours are on sale for the pleasur of all:
Cinnamon, Matcha Tea, Ume an (sweetmeats mixed with Jpanese plum), Mandarine, Strawberries, Cherry blossoms, Ramune, Chocolate-banana, Chocolate, Kyoto baked sweet potato, Chestnuts, Green apple, Blueberries, Mango, Orange, Red wine and more seasonal offerings!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Japanese Vegetarian & Vegan Cakes: Wagashi/和菓子 15: Daifuku

DAIFUKU-1

Daifukumochi (大福餅), or Daifuku (大福) (literally “great luck”), is a Japanese confection consisting of a small round mochi (glutinous rice cake) stuffed with sweet filling, most commonly anko, sweetened red bean paste made from azuki beans.

The traditional daifuku, like all Wagashi are vegan in concept.

But Daifuku comes in many varieties.
The most common is white, pale green or pale pink colored mochi filled with anko.
These come in two sizes, one approximately the diameter of a half-dollar coin, the other palm-sized.
Some versions contain whole pieces of fruit, mixtures of fruit and anko or crushed melon paste.
Nearly all daifuku are covered in a fine layer of corn or taro starch to keep them from sticking to each other, or to the fingers. Some are covered with confectioner’s sugar or cocoa.

DAIFUKU-2

HISTORY:
Daifuku were originally called Harabuto mochi (腹太餅) (belly thick rice cake) because of its filling nature. Later the name was changed to Daifuku mochi (大腹餅) (big belly rice cake). Since the pronunciation of Fuku (腹) (belly) and Fuku (福) (luck) is the same in Japanese, the name was further changed to Daifuku mochi (大福餅) (great luck rice cake), a bringer of good luck. By the end of the 18th century, Daifuku were gaining popularity and people began eating them toasted. They were also used for gifts in ceremonial occasions

VATIETIES:

DAIFUKU-3
Yomogi daifuku (蓬大福)
A version made with kusa mochi (草餅), which is mochi flavored with mugwort.

DAIFUKU-4
Ichigo daifuku (イチゴ大福)
A variation containing strawberry and sweet filling, most commonly anko, inside a small round mochi. Creams are sometimes used for sweet filling. Because it contains strawberry, it is usually eaten during the spring time. It was invented in the 1980s. Many patisseries claim to have invented the confection, so its exact origin is vague.

DAIFUKU-5
Mame daifuku (豆大福)
Another variation made of mochi mixed with red peas or soy beans.

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Japanese Vegetarian & Vegan Cakes: Wagashi/和菓子 14: Satsuma Imo/Sweet Potatoes-Recipe

SATSUMA-WAGASHI-1

Satsuma Imo or Sweet Potatoes are often used in Japanese cakes/Wagashi.
The great advantage is that it makes for completely vegan cakes with an almost endless source of variations.

Here is the basice recipe from you will be able to improvise!

INGREDIENTS:

-Satsuma/Sweet Potato: 400g (peeled)
-Sugar: 75 g
-Agar agar powder: 3 g
-Salt: a pinch
-Water: 20 ml

RECIPE:

SATSUMA-WAGASHI-2
-Cut the sweet potato into small pieces and wash under clear cold water to take off astringency.
Boil in a pan with 20 ml of water until soft.

-Just before the potatoes are completely cooked, add sugar, agar agar and salt. Bring to boil and switch off fire. Bear in mind there will be very little water. Do not burn the poatoes!

-Transfer potatoes into a frying pan and fry until they get smooth.

-Return to boiling pan and heat to get all excess water out.

-Pass through a sieve, or process.

-Wet the inside of a refrigerator recipient before spreading cellophane paper inside. Pour the potato puree into the recipient and fold the cellophane paper on top, leaving no air between cellophane paper and potato. Chill inside refrigerator.

SATSUMA-WAGASHI-3

Before eating unwrap cellophane paper and cut into preferred shape.
This is where the fun begins!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Japanese Vegetarian & Vegan Cakes: Wagashi/和菓子13: Recipe-Kabotcha/Pumpkins

WAGASHI-PUMPKIN-1

Just found this recipe to please vegans (and others) with a sweet tooth:
Japanese Cake/Wagashi: Pumpkin/Kabotcha Wagashi!

INGREDIENTS: For 5 cakes
-Pumkin paste: 20 g
-Rice flour: 30 g
-Sugar: 12 g
-Water: 50 ml
-Sweetmeats/Anko (See Recipe here)
-Cornstarch: enough for operation
-Pumpkin seeds or pine nuts: 5 (for decoration)

RECIPE:

WAGASHI-PUMPKIN-2
-Peel skin from pumkin and heat pulp inside microwave oven until soft enough to make paste. Let cool down completely.

WAGASHI-PUMPKIN-3
-In an oven bowl mix well punpkin paste, rice flour, sugar and water until it becomes bubbly. Cover with cellophane paper and heat for 40 seconds at 700W inside microwave oven.

WAGASHI-PUMPKIN-4
-Work the paste until smooth.

WAGASHI-PUMPKIN-5
-Using cornstarch to work paste more easily as it will easily stick to your fingers, divide the paste into 5 identical portions.

WAGASHI-PUMPKIN-6
-Divide sweetmeats/anko into 5 identical parts and fashion them into small balls.
Coat your fingers with a little cornstarch and completely wrap sweetmeat/anko ball with pumpkin paste as shown in picture.

WAGASHI-PUMPKIN-7
-Make indents around the ball with a wooden sticks to shape the ball into a small pumpkin.

WAGASHI-PUMPKIN-8
-As soon as the ball is finished, gently brush away whatever cornstarch is left on the surface.

WAGASHI-PUMPKIN-9
-On top of each pumpkin cake place a seed for decoration and effect!

WAGASHI-PUMPKIN-10
-That is how your “pumpkin” will look when you cut it!

NOTE:
You can sieve the pumpkin pulp first for a finer texture.

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery